Ramban: Four members of a family were feared drowned, one person was killed and twelve labourers from UP sustained injuries in two separate accidents on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway in Ramban district on Monday.
In the first incident, one passenger died while 12 others, all labourers from Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh (UP) were injured when the Tempo Traveller, they were travelling in, collided with a truck near Chamalwas in Banihal early this morning.
The second tragedy struck when the four members of a family went missing after the car in which they were travelling fell into river Chenab at Mehar near Ramban on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway this afternoon.
Police said a car (Swift Dzire), bearing registration number JK02CM-7664, en route to Jammu from Kashmir went out of control and plunged into river Chenab. After getting information, rescue teams of police, SDRF and local volunteers rushed to the spot and launched a search operation to trace the occupants of the car.
After a two-hour long rescue and search operation, they found nothing, except a bag on the embankment of river Chenab. Police identified those feared drowned as Rakesh Kumar, his wife Asha Rani and their two minor sons Sachit Bhagat and Mehul Bhagat, residents of Paloura Jammu.
Deputy Commissioner Ramban Mussarat Islam, SP P D Nitya and Additional SP Rajni Sharma were personally monitoring the rescue operation.
Officials said that the chances of survival of drowned family members were bleak as the flow of water in Chenab was quite turbulent. Authorities feared that all the four occupants along with the car might have washed away in strong currents of river Chenab. However, the efforts to trace the bodies were going on.
Police officers informed that the missing Rakesh Kumar, an Inspector in the Railway Protection Force of Northern Railway and presently posted in Jammu, was returning to his home after spending vacations in Kashmir.
Police said the road stretch, where the accident took place, was in good condition.
SP Ramban P D Nitya, while confirming the incident, told Greater Kashmir till late this evening nothing, except a bag, was found at the accident spot. However, efforts were still being made to trace the victims, she said.
Earlier in the morning, in a collision between a truck and a passenger Tempo Traveller, one person died whereas 12 labourers of Bijnor UP sustained injuries near Chamalwas, a police officer said.
He said that the driver of the truck, bearing registration number JK13C -4760, en route to Jammu lost control over it and the vehicle collided with a Tempo Traveller, bearing registration number PB07BT-8324 at Chamalwas Khatana Basti on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway. This resulted in injuries to 13 passengers, including the driver travelling in the Tempo, which was on its way to Srinagar.
Police said all the passengers were labourers from Bijnor UP. All the injured passengers were rushed to SDH Banihal. After providing medical-aid, critically wounded passengers were referred to GMC Anantnag. Later, one passenger identified as Sajid Ahmed, 37, son of Qayoom, resident of UP, succumbed to his injuries in the ambulance, on the way to hospital.
Police identified other 12 injured as Tempo driver Karan Jeet Singh, son of Joginder Singh, Gajinder Singh, 45, son of Ganesh, Mohammed Ayub, 39, son of Abdul Salam, Satish Kumar, 39, son of Karan Singh, Mustqeem, 48, son of Peer Baksh, Nazir Ahmed, 27, son of Shabir Ahmed, Shah Nawaz, 28, son of Abdul Kareem, Shakeel Ahmed, 40, son of Nazir Ahmed, Omesh, 24, son of Surinder Singh, Akshay, 20, son of Ajay, Mohammed Anwar, 35, son of Shakeelu and Tahir Ahmed, 36, son of Bhora, all residents of UP. Police said a case FIR number 143 under relevant sections of law was registered at Police Station Banihal for further investigations.